CAUTIONARY TALES EPISODE 2 « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


Two Tow Companies Owe $4.8 Million In Unpaid Minimum Wages, Overtime

The California Labor Commissioner has announced a $4,874,661 award against Irvine Auto Towing, Inc. and Yaco Investments, Inc. for multiple wage theft violations affecting 187 drivers, mechanics, and dispatchers.

Following a formal administrative proceeding, a hearing officer found these two tow companies had generally paid a flat rate $110/day to employees working 12-hour shifts, sometimes seven days a week, with no meal and rest breaks. The companies underpaid regular wages and overtime. The hearing officer also found these employers wrongfully charged workers for uniforms and made other improper pay deductions in violation of California law.

The $4.8M award was for regular wage, overtime, meal and rest break violations, and charging employees for uniforms. The award also included “liquidated damages” equal to the unpaid minimum wage amount plus interest as well as “waiting time penalties,” up to 30 days of additional pay when an employer has failed to pay all wage amounts due upon a worker’s departure from employment.

This July 26, 2017 news release is another step in Labor Commissioner Julie Su’s stepped-up campaign against wage and hour violations. She stated: “This is an egregious case of wage theft affecting a large group of workers who were denied a just day’s pay and forced to work without meal or rest breaks.” She cautioned that her “office enforces California’s labor laws to prevent employers from cheating workers as a means to gain an unfair advantage over their law-abiding competitors.”

The takeaways are simple. Employers must pay hourly workers at least the applicable minimum wage and any earned overtime compensation. They must also issue and adhere to a proper meal and rest break policy. Employers must also pay or reimburse their employees for work-related expenses.

If you need assistance on how to pay employees correctly, please contact one of our attorneys Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

Helena Kobrin,
August 4, 2017